Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 22 May 2012

Venue: Room 30

1.34 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session with Mr Joe Byrne in the Chair.

Mr Joe Byrne advised the Committee that he had replaced Mrs Dolores Kelly as Deputy Chairperson of the Committee and wished to record his appreciation to Mrs Kelly for her work.

1.35 p.m. Ms Boyle joined the meeting.

1. Apologies

The apologies are noted above.

2. Chairperson's Business

There was no Chairperson's Business to report.

3. Minutes of the meeting 15 May 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 May 2012.

4. Matters arising

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the Committee meeting on 24 April 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted the revised flight arrangements for the forthcoming Committee visit to the UK in June 2012.

1.36 p.m. Mr McMullan joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider agenda item 7 next.

5. Post Consultation of EQIA on Farm Modernisation Programme Tranche 3 – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

Keith Morrison, Assistant Secretary

Siobhan Thompson, Deputy Secretary

Janet Ligget, Deputy Secretary

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a Question and Answer session.

1.45 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a copy of Annex 1 of the EQIA which details equipment which can be claimed for under the Farm Modernisation Programme and which band they are applicable to.    

1.55 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting. 

1.59 p.m. Mr Swann joined the meeting.

2.00 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

6. Bovine TB Review - Oral Briefing Vet NI

The following representatives from Vet NI joined the meeting;

Bert Allison, North of Ireland Veterinary Association

Kevin Corry, The Association of Veterinary Surgeons Practising in NI

John Johnson, The Association of Veterinary Surgeons Practising in NI

Lindsay Read, North of Ireland Veterinary Association

The representatives briefed the Committee and this was followed by a Question and Answer session.

2.35 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer who employs the services of private vets.

2.40 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to obtain a copy of the Rogers report which will include information on the percentage of possums in New Zealand who are infected with TB.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask for the rationale for refusing a proposal made by NIVA and AVSPNI to carry out work on Brucellosis sampling at the same time as Bovine TB sampling.

7. Scale of Rented Farmland – Oral Briefing RaISe

The Assembly Research officer briefed the Committee on the Scale of Rented Farmland and this was followed by a question and answer session.

3.10 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

3.15 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

8. Rivers Agency Business Plan 2012/13 – Written Brief

Agreed: The Committee noted the written brief provided by the Department on the Rivers Agency Business Plan 2012/12 and agreed to seek a presentation on the same.

9. SL1: The Fishing Boats (Satellite Tracking Device) Scheme (NI) 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on the percentage of grant aid for the scheme and the specification of the equipment to be purchased.

Agreed: The Committee considered the SL1: Vessel Position Monitoring Scheme (NI) 2012 and were content with the merits of the policy.

10. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from Margaret Ritchie MP regarding the processing of Single Farm Payments by the Department and agreed to write to her to advise of the actions the Committee will be taking with regards to this issue.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from GROW, thanking the Committee for the recent Stakeholder Event on the Rural Development Programme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence from the Department regarding the Protect Life Strategy to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding the relocation of Forest Service staff to a rural location.

11. Forward Work Programme

Noted: The Committee noted that the SL1: The Protection and Conservation of Sea Bass (NI) Regulations 2011 has been deferred until 29 May 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted that the Minister has indicated that she wishes to attend the Committee’s final meeting on 3 July to discuss, amongst other issues, the Bovine TB Review.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

12. AOB

There was no other business.

13. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 29 May 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting was adjourned at 3.34 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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